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Stop and search

We can use police powers to stop and talk to members of the public at any time and carry out a search depending on the situation. 

Being able to do this helps to keep the public safe, tackle crime and anti-social behaviour and prevent terrorism.

A Police Community Support Officer (PCSO) must be in uniform to stop and question someone. Police officers don't always have to be in uniform but if they’re not they must show you their warrant card.

When stop and search can be used

Most of the time we must have grounds to search you, but some stop and search powers allow you to be searched without grounds (but with approval by a senior police officer). For example, if there's risk of serious violence or disorder or you're in a specific location or area.

Our officers and PCSOs can stop and search you:
  • as part of anti-terrorism activity
  • if there has been serious violence or disorder in the area
  • if we're looking for a suspect who fits your description
  • if we have reasonable grounds to suspect you're carrying drugs, a weapon or stolen property.
Stop and searches can take place anywhere but normally take place in public places.
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